Residents’ parking frustration as thousands flock to Tramlines

Tramlines Festival organisers have pledged to continue to work with Hillsborough residents after a number of complaints about parking at this year’s event.

By Lucy Ashton
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 13:00
Residents were frustrated at parking as thousands flocked to Tramlines

Many residents said they couldn’t get near their homes last weekend, despite the council quadrupling the number of official parking spaces and having residents-only access on streets.

Eammon Ward, who lives close to Hillsborough park, said: “Local residents experienced only minor parking inconvenience last year with Tramlines doing a good job of steering people to using public transport.

“But 8,000 more people and stewards missing at key times made it like a Hillsborough matchday over three days this time.

“It’s no great surprise that people heading for £15 a day official parking at Niagara sports ground went looking for free parking on my side road off Leppings Lane before shelling out.

“It was the same on side roads off Middlewood Road as people headed for official parking at Marcliffe Primary School.

“Local people support the festival but they have around 25 matchdays a year to fit their lives and transport use around.

“More road closures, revisions to steward timings and ensuring only local people get through the barriers will address most of the issues.

“Tramlines just need to engage with local residents who know the area and what’s needed. As the event gets bigger and more tickets are sold, Tramlines need to invest more in protections for the local community.”

Other residents took to the Friends of Hillsborough Park Facebook page to air their frustration.

Both Tramline organisers and Sheffield Council said they welcomed feedback and would continue to work with residents.

Timm Cleasby, head of operations at Tramlines, said: “We recognise that Tramlines will have an impact on the local area and feel that the best way to make it a positive experience for as many people as possible is through dialogue with the community, where everyone’s views are taken on board. This will help us to review our practice for future events.

“Alongside listening to requests for additional parking, we also implemented residents parking schemes later than last year as a direct result of feedback from residents, but we will continue to review this.

“In order to speed things up with the residents parking scheme, we switched from issuing permits to using an ID system. We have to trust residents to use the scheme responsibly in order to maintain parking for all residents, but we found that many houses in the area had large numbers of visitors over the weekend.

“I want to make it clear that we take the needs of local residents very seriously, we invest a considerable amount into this area of the festival and we will continue to tweak and improve the scheme for the forthcoming event in 2020.

“We want Tramlines to be something that the people of Hillsborough are proud of and we have already received many positive endorsements from the local community in regard to the event last weekend.”

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said the council worked with organisers on all major events in the city to ensure there was as little disruption as possible to residents.

She said: “Official parking provision for Tramlines this year was four times the number than in 2018, from 400 spaces to more than 1,800.

“Festival goers were also strongly encouraged to walk or use public transport to access the site, and the majority did.

“We will work closely with Tramlines to make sure issues are addressed in the best way possible and the festival continues to be one of Sheffield’s most popular weekends.”